When Science Becomes a Religion
Tony BeamDr. Tony Beam's Weblog
- 2005 Feb 28
I have a vivid memory of my eighth birthday. I opened several packages which contained various clothing items I knew would have to be returned (I was growing faster than gift givers could keep up) and toys which I knew I would never play with. My heart was set on one thing....a science/chemistry set. You see, I absolutely loved science. At that stage of my life I could think of nothing so cool (wait, the time adjusted phrase would be groovy) as becoming a scientist. I wanted to spend my adult life looking through a microscope and conducting experiments which would lead to breakthrough discoveries landing my picture on the cover of Time.
It's a good thing that childhood dream never made it past my high school years. To be a scientist today bears no resemblance to my idealistic understanding of science as an investigative endeavor leading the scientist to a conclusion supported by the facts. To be a scientist today, especially if you work in the field of paleontology or biology, you must toe the party line supporting Darwinism or face the wrath of the modern day Darwinists who have turned unquestioned belief in evolution into the litmus test of orthodoxy for the perceived religion of secular humanism.
Just ask Dr. Stephen Meyer (Ph.D. from Cambridge), research fellow at the Discovery Institute or Dr. Rick Steinberg, editor of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, a scientific journal affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Meyer wrote an article for the magazine titled, "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories." His article was peer reviewed by a three member panel of scientists ensuring the article had genuine merit. All three of the reviewers recommended, with minor revisions, the publication of the article. It was published last August and can be read in its entirety at www.discovery.org/csc/.
Meyer's article has generated a firestorm that includes the following. Dr. Steinberg was forced to resign as editor of the magazine. According to Gene Edward Veith, writing in World magazine, Steinberg also had his Smithsonian office taken away and all access to information he needs to conduct research has been denied. In addition, Steinberg has been subjected to a type of sectarian discipline known as "shunning" which means his colleagues refuse to speak to him or even to look at him when he passes them in the hall.
If this sounds like something that happens on the playground during recess at your local kindergarten, consider this....Steinberg was also subjected to a supervisor staged inquisition into his religious and political beliefs.
How could Meyer's peer reviewed, scientific panel recommended article have brought such consequences to both of these highly respected researchers? The answer is actually quite simple....Meyer dared to write an article which supports the so-called "renegade" idea of Intelligent Design and Steinberg dared to publish the article.
Meyer's research led him to question major tenets of Darwinism, including the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which Darwinists use to defend the lack of transitional fossils in the vaunted fossil record. Rather than arguing against his logic or questioning his research, Meyer's critics have chosen simply to attack the researcher.
Editors from major scientific publications, such as Science, Nature, and Chronicles of Higher Education say the article should not have been published because the American Association for the Advancement of Science has declared that Intelligent Design is "unscientific by definition." When Meyer was hit with the reaction of these prestigious publications he rightly observed, "Rather than critique the paper on its scientific merits, they appeal to a doctrinal statement." Meyer went on to say that science has historically always tried to discover, "the best explanation period, wherever the evidence leads."
Meyer is right about science historically, but post-modern science has been infected with the same disease many other academic disciplines suffer from. I call this new malady "supernaturalitis." Its symptoms include causing researchers to discount any answer to a question which takes them beyond a materialistic explanation for phenomenon. It further causes a jaundiced eye to be cast upon any supernatural explanation which would suggest the existence of God.
A true Christian Worldview does not have a problem with good science....science which remains true to its own principles. Where the Christian should question is where true science is sacrificed on the altar of a post-modern prejudice against the supernatural.
It is amazing when you consider the incredible hypocrisy of those who reject objective, absolute truth in favor of a subjective, relative understanding of the world. In the post-modern world, people like Ward Churchill, who have dubious academic credentials at best, are defended when they make indefensible statements under the banner of free speech. But people like Dr. Stephen Meyer and Dr. Rick Steinberg, whose credentials are impeccable and who conclusions are backed up by the facts, are censored and their free speech rights violated because they refuse to worship before the humanistic god of absolute materialism.
All truth is God's truth. Scientists must be free to pursue truth even when the evidence and facts of science point to God.